Tigers Arizona Fall League Update
By John Verburg
As the Arizona Fall League update is back once again. The Tigers players on the Salt River Rafters are getting some playing time, but none of it, with the exception of Tyler Stohr is all that extensive. There have been some ups and downs for the guys, but a couple of the Tigers have shown pretty well. Overall, the team they are playing on is 17-10 and they are in first place in the AFL East division, despite being the least talented roster in the league in my opinion.
For a quick look at how the Tigers prospects are doing, follow through the jump……
Brantly has only seen action in just 8 of the 27 games thus far. In those 8 games, he has 30 at-bats and is hitting .367. While he has only struck out one time, he has only walked once as well. Brantly hasn’t homered in his AFL appearances, but he has doubled 4 times. He has 6 RBI in those 30 at-bats, so there is some production coming out his chances. I haven’t heard too much out of Arizona about Brantly other than some think there is a lack of bat speed to become much more than a singles and doubles hitter.
Perez continues to display a lot of the things that he showed with West Michigan this year. That would be an ability to hit for average, hit for little power, and have some trouble with patience at the dish. That isn’t to say that he isn’t holding his own, but to become a top prospect, he is going to have to improve in the patience area. Perez has appeared in 12 games for Salt River, getting 42 at-bats, and hitting .310. Perez has struck out 8 times, but has only walked once. Defensively, he has made 5 errors, which obviously isn’t good, but he does have the physical skills to be a good defender.
Machado, like Perez, has also appeared in 12 games, however, he has a different profile. Machado is a defender first and only at this point, and has struggled offensively in the AFL. In 40 at-bats, Machado has just 6 hits, but 2 of them are triples. He also shows better discipline at the plate, striking out 7 times, but walking 4. Defensively, Machado has a good buzz going about him in the AFL, and that matches what I have seen from him live. He is real slight of frame, and that is an understatement, but as he could gains strength, I could see a guy that could hit a little bit.
Crosby has been working out of relief the entire AFL season. I don’t know if that is a preview of what we will see come spring training or not, but it hasn’t stifled any command problems. In 8.2 innings, Crosby has minimized damage and only allowed 2 runs, however, the WHIP is terrible. Crosby has allowed 12 hits and walked 7. He has only struck out 7, so his ERA is essentially a function of Crosby pulling off a magic trick, and the fact he has given up 5 unearned runs.
Oliver, unlike Crosby, has been pitching in a starters role for the Rafters. He has been even worse than Crosby. In his 5 starts, Oliver has only pitched 9.1 innings, giving up a whopping 23 base runners via the walk and hits. Obviously, this is quite a disappointing performance from Oliver, especially considering he has given up 11 walks. Oliver has struck out 10, but that might be the only thing that is going decent for him at this point.
Stohr is having the most successful campaign in the AFL for the Tigers pitchers. In 10 games, Stohr has pitched 9.2 innings, giving up just 6 hits, 6 walks, and 2 runs. Stohr has struck out 7 as well. He has appeared to gain the confidence of his manager in the AFL, as he is the 3rd most used reliever out of the pen, and the 2nd most used non-closer.
Rob Waite has taken the place of Matt Hoffman, who left for reasons I have yet to look into yet. Waite has made 4 appearances for the Rafters, spanning 5.1 innings, and has pitched rather well. He has given up only 1 run thus far and has struck out 7 batters. He has flirted with some trouble though giving up 10 base runners, and having 2 unearned runs as well. For a guy that is not considered a priority prospect in the Tigers organization though, it is a pretty good showing so far.